Its been about a year since I was able to sit down with Mamaw and listen to her life stories. Sadly I haven’t made enough time for just me and her, and I need to be better about that. I really enjoyed listening to her stories. I love learning about her history (and my family history). Mamaw must have enjoyed talking about her past as much as I liked hearing it, because she took the time to write down a few memories. I decided to type them out so the entire family could enjoy them. I figure that is better then keeping it all to myself.
So here is a little bit of her story. I did not edit any of it- though spell check may have got a hold of it. I know its not the same as reading it in her handwriting, but its special nonetheless.
Herein are a few stories (true) from the past. Probably more common and the usual rather than anything unusual or extraordinary. Throughout I’ve always felt for the most part life has been good and I have been especially blessed. Most blessed to have had a husband who loved me and children who have so enriched my every day. Most important, from a very young age, I came to know I had a heavenly Father who was always looking out for me. Very few times have I had the feeling of being alone, for I’ve felt my Savior always close to me.
I’m not really sure I remember the fall into the barrel of oil or just Grandma Green’s account of it. While living with my Grandma on a large farm a few miles south of Ocilla. I do think I recall a few happenings. Out at one of the big farms the boys (uncles) had a barrel oil was kept in and while climbing around out there I took an unintentional dive into the oil. Grandma said she was still trying to get oil off me forever.
Grandma, of course, had none of the things to make life/work easy. Water came from the well. The well was at the end of the backside porch near the kitchen. I think there was another one out in the back yard too. There was a large wood stove in the kitchen, where Grandma cooked many large meals for her family of ten children and Grandpa, as well as others visiting at meal time. I heard Daddy say one time he must have been over half grown before he ate more parts of a chicken besides the wings. In those days grown-ups ate at the first table and children always ate at the second table. The preacher from Reddy Creek Church (I think it had to be the Methodist Church) often came home with them on Sundays for dinner. That meant Grandma go up Sunday morning early, ran down and billed, dressed and cooked several chickens that had to be fried before going to Church. Of course there was other dishes to prepare too. The vegetables were most often fresh and had to be picked, prepared, and cooked for a fairly long time on that big ole wood stove. Pies were stacked up in the pie safe. It was a safe with a wire covered door which kept flies from sampling the pies and probably a few small hands too. The dining room had only the pie safe and a long table with benches on each side. Chairs were only at the ends of the table. I’m sure the tables, benches and safe were made probably by Grandpa. He had worked at a sawmill and I think sawmilled timber from some of his land since he had furnished lumber and helped build Reddy Creek Church, but Grandpa helped build several other churches as well.
One Sunday we were all at church and I wanted to sit with Mildred, Daddy’s baby sister, who was only about three years older than I was. Well it seems “Milbs,” as Mildred was called by the family, and I got to having too much fun and got tickled. That meant Daddy had to come right down front, get me, and take me back to sit with him. It was a while before we could sit together in church again.
Grandma and Grandpa lived in a big ole wooden farm house on apparently a fairly large acreage of farmland. The big crop was tobacco. That meant rides on the tobacco sleds, which were built like sleds on the bottom, but had high sides, maybe 3 feet high and pulled by a mule. They were taken to the field, the tobacco cut and laid into the sled then taken to the tobacco barns that had a stove or stone fire box and a tall flue (pipe) that went up thur the roof. The tobacco was hung over long poles so that the leaves hung down freely- giving you flu cured tobacco. I don’t know how long it had to cure, but it was at least several days. During that time someone always had to be at the barn to keep the fire going. That also meant a large amount of firewood had to be on hand all the time.
Uncle Raymond always told everyone, to my embarrassment, about the time he was sitting up at the barn. It was hot, of course, and Uncle Raymond had overalls on but had pulled his shirt off, and was lying down on a built in bench just outside on the front of the barn. It had a shelter over it much like a porch. He told that I got hold of a pair of pliers lying around and proceeded to clamp down on his exposed nipple. I don’t think he dozed much more that evening.
Grandma said I always called the uncles “my boys.” I was the oldest granddaughter and so I got lots of attention from them. She said Uncle Dewey was my most favorite one however. He was a very sweet man. Later he became the father of five daughters and I know they loved him dearly.
This barely even puts a dent in Mamaws stories. I promise to keep them coming